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## About this lesson

Learn to work with formula auditing tools including tracing precedent and dependent cells and formula evaluation.

## Lesson versions

Multiple versions of this lesson are available, choose the appropriate version for you:

2013, **2016**.

## Exercise files

Download the Excel workbook used in the video tutorial and try the lesson yourself.

Formula Auditing.xlsx15.1 KB

## Quick reference

### Topic

Working with formula auditing tools including tracing precedent cells, dependent cells, and stepping through formula evaluation.

### When to use

These tools are incredibly useful for debugging spreadsheets that have errors, or trying to understand the business logic that someone built in the file.

### Instructions

#### Sample data

- Create a new worksheet
- Try the auditing tools on cells G4:G7

#### Tracing precedents

- Select a cell with a formula in it
- On the FORMULAS tab, click Trace Precedents
- Arrows will be drawn on the worksheet showing all ranges that feed into that cell

#### Tracing dependents

- Select any cell on the worksheet
- On the FORMULAS tab, click Trace Dependents
- Arrows will be drawn on the worksheet showing all cells that rely on the selected cell

#### Formula evaluation

- Select a cell with a formula in it
- On the FORMULAS tab, click Evaluate
- As you click Evaluate, Excel will evaluate the underlined portion of the equation
- Notice that Excel follows the Order of Operations (BEDMAS, BODMAS, PEMDAS or whichever acronym you may know it by)

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